The World's Blood Pressure May Be Rising

High systolic blood pressure levels appear to be increasing around the world

(RxWiki News) The number of people with high systolic blood pressure has been rising around the world in recent decades, according to a new study.

And considering that high blood pressure is linked to heart disease, stroke and related problems, that could be bad news for global health.

This study, conducted by researchers at the University of Washington, looked at health data for 8.7 million people in various countries. They found that rates of elevated systolic blood pressure — the top number in a blood pressure reading — increased substantially between 1990 and 2015.

By 2015, an estimated 874 million adults had systolic blood pressure levels of 140 mmHg or higher, these researchers found. A normal systolic blood pressure reading is usually below 120 mmHg.

This study found that high systolic blood pressure was the largest contributor to preventable deaths in 2015.

Patients can help keep their blood pressure levels within the normal range through lifestyle choices, medication or both. Talk to your doctor about how to maintain a healthy blood pressure.

This study was published in JAMA.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded this study. Several of the authors received grants during the conduct of this study. Several authors disclosed financial ties to some pharmaceutical companies.